The Word on the Week

Prince Dies

When a figure bursts through the bubble in which each of us live and reveals an amazing talent, which a large section of the music world appreciated, it becomes necessary to belatedly engage in a crash course! Fortunately Prince’s music is available on every waveband. The sad part is that Prince is dead.

It is quite possible to have lived through the last 35 years of his prolific output and never heard one of the 39 albums he released. An exception is his famous 1984 film “Purple Rain” which Steve gives an airing at our Christmas karaoke session! “Purple Rain”is widely considered one of the best and most influential music films ever. The accompanying soundtrack spawned the No. 1 hits “Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry.”
Sinead O’Connor became famous with his song “Nothing compares 2 U”.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

During his colourful career he had one or two changes of identity. In 1993 he changed his stage name to a combination of the male and female symbols. His agents had to send copies of the correct font to every media outlet which wanted to mention his name!

His life knew sadness. He was twice married and both marriages ended in divorce. His only son, by his first wife, died in infancy back in 1996.

Unlike Michael Jackson, a contemporary of his who also died recently, Prince was a very private person. He was something of a workaholic and was performing on tour up to last week. His sales exceeded 100 million records and his annual income of $56 million made him the highest music earner in the world.

We don’t know how tragedy struck at the young age of 57 but he had been in hospital with the flu earlier this week and that may have weakened him. Sadly he died alone in a lift. Many will mourn his passing. The ‘Purple Reign’ has ended.

It is early in the Bible that we are introduced to the reality of what has been called the ultimate statistic – one out of one dies! In the Genesis account of the first inhabitants we read of their lifespan in years then comes the refrain “and then he died”. Apart from Enoch who was the exception (the text reads “God took him”) all had a funeral. Interestingly Enoch and sometime later Elijah were the only two who did not pass through death.

When Jesus told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life” he was attending her brother’s Lazarus funeral. Jesus does not merely say that he will bring about the resurrection or that he will be the cause of the resurrection (both of which are true), but something much stronger. “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (St John Chapter 11 verse 25/6). Resurrection from the dead and genuine eternal life in fellowship with God are so closely tied to Jesus that they are embodied in him and can be found only in relationship to him. Therefore “believes in me” implies personal trust in Christ. “Yet shall he live” is the confident expectation of the believer.
In Christ Prince may yet live.